“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman
My educational journey began as I earned my undergraduate degree from Roosevelt University in 1991. Initially, my career path was related to business management; however, an internal struggled emerged in relationship to educational systems for children with special needs and those children who live in underserved communities.
With that being said, I obtained a Master’s Degree in School Psychology from Governors State University in 1998 and continued my quest for understanding, obtaining my doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from National-Louis University in 2013. My professional experience includes 21 years in education as a Supervising School Psychologist practitioner, crisis therapist, and consultant in number of social service agencies, both public and private.
As a school psychologist, my practice has been driven by being a stakeholder and reformist, with a responsibility in leveling the playing field for all disadvantaged youth. I’m driven to task by research as an agent of change for the disproportionality of students placed in special education, children who are victims and punished for inadequacies in instructional practices and policies, and pedagogical frameworks that do not align with diversity in learning styles and motivational connections to academic excellence for all students.
My interest in teaching in higher education was forged by a plethora of personal and professional experiences while training School Psychology Interns and Practicum students in the field for the past 21 years. My interactions with students entering the field of School Psychology has had such a positive influence in my life, my professional career, and in my personal responsibility to promote wellness and efficacy in both children and adults.
Why School Psychology? Why is it my passion? We as School Psychologists have embarked on an era in education where we serve as consultants and create collaborative initiatives with teachers, administrators and policy makers in educational reform and school improvement efforts. Thus, the evolution of the School Psychologist has created opportunities for caring, devoted, and authentic people who want to be practitioners to support the aforementioned in our schools.
Co-Facilitator for “The K-2 Experience” District and Region initiative for implementation of culturally relevant evidence-based interventions.
Presenter of comprehensive workshops for “The Effects & Uses of Psychotropic Medications in Schools”, “Identification of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders & Executive Functioning Issues”, “Utilization of the Prepare Model for Best Practices in crisis prevention and intervention” and “Motivational Connections to Academic Excellence”
Thornton Township Youth Committee Inc. Vice-Chairman 2008-2013, Chair Elect 2013-2015: Secured grants through the Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Violence Prevention Authority and Comcast. Co-developed strategic plans to significantly increase mental health programming for youth and family services across 17 south suburban Chicago municipalities. Acquired the first accreditation for a youth committee corporation by the Council on Accreditation (COA).
Illinois School Psychologists Association: 2018 Ted Smith Memorial Practitioner of the Year